Public Speaking for a Media Summit

Public Speaking for a Media Summit

On Sunday November 5th, 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in the 2017 Collegiate Media Summit hosted by Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. This summit highlights professionals across the media industry. I was invited to speak via Skype to the attendees on how I became a blogger and teacher on YouTube. Although quite nervous, I found it to be a very good experience and was thrilled to take part.

I’ve got friends in HIGH places

My friend, Dr. Dennis Frohlich, assistant professor in the Department of Mass Communications at Bloomsburg University, approached me some time ago to be a part of the summit. Some of you may remember if you followed my earlier blog posts that Dennis and I actually began blogging and video logging about inflammatory bowel diseases many years ago after meeting online. Early in my diagnosis, I started blogging and making videos discussing my journey through Crohn’s disease. During that same time, Dennis also started a channel on YouTube to talk about his journey through ulcerative colitis. We corresponded over our similar journey through illness. Together we decided to combine our channels and work together. In 2009 we began the United Colon Vlog. Our vlog (video log) provided education and awareness about inflammatory bowel diseases and it solidified a lifelong friendship.

The birth of YARNutopia

Those early days of vlogging helped lay the foundation for me to segue into starting YARNutopia. We decided to dissolve the UCVlog after five years of pioneering to bring a spotlight to IBD. Dennis was on to bigger and better things as he worked toward graduate school, eventually earning his doctorate. I continued to struggle significantly with my illness. After SIX attempts of trying college and having to withdraw for medical reasons, I resigned myself to the realization this won’t work out for me. During a particularly dark moment, my mom gave me a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and the rest is history. YARNutopia was born!

Exciting, but nothing goes off without a hitch

My appearance in this Media Summit was to discuss how I have made my career on YouTube. The summit was bringing professionals together who have made their careers through some media platform. It was such a privilege to be included among so many esteemed professionals. It is one of those surreal moments when you have to pinch yourself to tell if it is real life. How am I part of this?! It was pretty exciting!

Unfortunately, I woke up on Sunday morning with a terribly sore throat and was hoarse. The night before, I attended a family wedding, and I was already feeling under the weather. Adrenaline carried me through the wedding and subsequent party afterward, but everything came crashing down by Sunday. Three Ricola throat lozenges, honey laced tea, and a salt water gargle allowed me to have some semblance of a voice and would have to do as I addressed a room full of participants and students.

I prepared an outline for discussion with the help of my mom. As prepared as I felt, nerves started to settle in. Dennis prepped me ahead of time and in our preparations, he let me know that it will seem as though I am talking to him for the most part. Although there were students present, Dennis let me know he would guide the presentation and that put me a little bit at ease.

One Hour. A lot to cover

The presentation was approximately an hour long. In that time, we covered how I began my YouTube channel with my dad, how my mom and I handle all the creative design, blog, marketing, and social media, what it took to gain followers, and producing revenue through advertising and affiliates. We touched briefly on the highs and lows of being a blogger and YouTuber. I also offered tips and tricks on ways those looking to get into blogging or posting on YouTube can navigate the process. Soon the hour flew by and we opened a discussion up to questions and answers from the students.

Several questions were asked and it made me think on my toes. I am not the best at that, and I also had a bit of difficulty hearing the students. In retrospect, I could have been a little more prepared for that part of the presentation, but I was very satisfied with the outcome.

Closing thoughts

After the presentation was over, I felt pretty exhilarated. I did it! This was a great event to practice public speaking and a wonderful learning experience for me. I realized there is room for growth, and I definitely can make some improvements if I have the opportunity for more speaking engagements in the future. I learned several things in this seminar, and it also has me thinking of new avenues to explore for YARNutopia.

I want to say a special Thank You to my good friend Dr. Dennis Frohlich and all the students and attendees of this media summit. It was a fantastic experience. I appreciate the invitation and opportunity to talk about YARNutopia and for them to provide the platform to do so. It was truly wonderful!


This post contains affiliate links, which I may be compensated for when you make a purchase. That means if you click on any link and buy from the linked websites, I will receive a small percentage of the value of your order. The amount you pay is not changed. Thank you for all your support in clicking the links in my blog!! You all are so amazing!! ~Nadia


My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for our videos when I move away.
Support YARNutopia today so we can continue to bring you clear, quality crochet tutorials even after I move into my new home!
There will be an added expense of more travel and hopefully this won’t deter our ability to provide consistent videos on a weekly basis.

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We Did It!

We Did It!

When you have a channel and reach certain milestones as a YouTuber, you are rewarded in a variety of ways that recognizes that accomplishment. Today, YouTube sent us our first milestone award The Silver Play Button recognizing 100,000 subscribers to our channel!

Although we reached that goal in October 2016, and our channel now has 147,300 subscribers, it still holds immense thrill to receive this award and to know our hard work continues to be appreciated by so many! is what it is first and foremost because of EACH of YOU that show up to watch my videos, subscribe and follow me on social media! We hope to continue to provide great content and crochet videos so that we reach each milestone together! Your support means more that you will ever know!

So, thank you for helping us reach this goal. Thank you for sharing my videos and believing in us. It feels like a myriad of emotions all balled up like a ball of yarn! Humbling, thrilling, exhilarating are all the feels going on right now!!

Before closing this blog, special attention has to go to my wonderful parents. There are no words to express how much each of them do behind the scenes. My dad is the best cameraman ever and without those mad skills, we would not be who we are. My mom’s creativity is out of this world! There are no words. I am so grateful for the ongoing support of amazing parents, my brothers, my sister-in-law (and future Matron of Honor), my nephew (who makes the best model ever), my Nate who walked in to the life of a YouTuber no questions asked and embraced what it all entails, and to each one of you that invite me into your home each day, thank you, thank you! This award belongs to all of us! We are looking forward to our next milestone!

A special thanks to YouTube for recognizing our accomplishments with this very cool shadowbox plaque.


Thank you YARNutopians!

Usually it’s only my hands that are seen. As we passed over the 100,000 subscribers mark on our YouTube channel, we felt the best way to express our gratitude to those who are watching, sharing, and recommending our videos was to post this small personal video of thanks.

Thank you doesn’t even begin to express all we wish to say to you for the love you have shown us over the past two years. Because of you, we have been able to do something we love. It is hard to believe that a few of years ago, I picked up a hook and a skein of yarn to help me cope with long stays in the hospital and that would lead me on this amazing path, but here we are!!!

I could not have reached this amazing goal without YOU, but my family has been instrumental in making YARNutopia what it is as well and deserve a mention of sincere thanks. My mom is my creative guidance, the person who helps me bounce around ideas, a constant support and best friend. My two older brothers and my sister-in-law are one of the most encouraging teams around! My nephew, who shows up from time to time as a model, is the cutest little guy anyone could ever ask for. And of course, Nate. He is the one who is there to cheer me on when I am frustrated and helps me untangle my yarn when my projects go awry! But the most important Thank you behind the scenes goes out to my Dad! His camera skills are unsurpassed and he does so much work in the studio that no one sees.

In this video, I am onscreen with my Dad, Fuad Azmat – yes, my dad comes out from behind the camera to give a huge shout-out to everyone and to tell you how much it means to us to have you as a part of our YARNutopia community. We love bringing you crochet tutorials and hope to continue to grow for years to come!

Thank you once again YARNutopians, you are the BEST!!

Happy Hooking!